Artforum International

An international contemporary art magazine covering sculpture, painting, mixed media, and installation works, as well as architecture, music, and popular culture. Includes artist interviews and reviews of individual artists and/or galleries; reviews of fi

Articles from Vol. 50, No. 9, May

Adriana Lara
1 MARIA DANIELA Y SU SONIDO LASSER Formed in 2003 by Emilio Acevedo and Maria Daniela, this Mexico City-based electropop duo was, at least at first, too quirky for the Mexican music industry. In recent years, though, Maria Daniela YSSL's frenetic "live"...
After Effects: Martin Herbert on the Art of Anja Kirschner and David Panos
ALTHOUGH ANJA KIRSCHNER AND DAVID PANOSIS 2009 video The Last Days of Jack Sheppard is set in the early 1720s, its chaotic mise-en-scene is a familiar one. We are in London in the wake of a financial boom fueled by contagious speculation. Fortunes...
Alicia Frankovich
STARKWHITE The performance Jumping Guy, 2011/2012, added a carnival touch to the summer-evening opening of Berlin-based New Zealander Alicia Frankovich's exhibition "Bodies and Situations." The darkened gallery, filled with bustling, chatting viewers,...
Ann Goldstein
MY MEMORIES OF MIKE KELLEY go back to my early days as a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. In 1986, I was given oversight of an unprecedented $250,000 purchase fund for emerging and underreprcscnted California artists, called...
Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook
TYLER ROLLINS FINE ART In 2008 and again in 2011, the Thai artist Araya Rasdjarmrearnsbok took copies of famous European paintings, including examples by Edouard Mane; Jean-Francois Millet, and Artemisia Gentileschi, and of a couple of works by...
Arch Connelly
LA MAMA LA GALLERIA This small show of works by Arch Connelly was uplifting in the spirit sensible all through it and at the same time tremendously sad. I don't think you had to have known Connelly, who died in 1993, to have that second response,...
A Room of Their Own: Three Views on the Whitney Biennial
WITH EVEN MAINSTREAM MEDIA'S most curmudgeonly critics having clambered aboard the bandwagon, the Whitney Museum of American Art's 2012 Biennial--organized by Elisabeth Sussman and Jay Sanders--would seem to have alchemically transformed "the show...
Babak Golkar
CHARLES H. SCOTT GALLERY AT EMILY CARR UNIVERSITY OF ART + DESIGN Upon entering Vancouver-based artist Babak Golkar's exhibition "Grounds for Standing and Understanding," the visitor was greeted by a surfeit of blank walls: Numerous white partitions...
Bjorn Dahlem
GALERIE RUDIGER SCHOTTLE "Artistic research" has become a buzzword--as if art could imitate or incorporate methods of the natural and social sciences and the humanities. The scholarly, intellectually conscientious artist seems to be the new ideal,...
Cindy Sherman
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] IN THE ANGLO-AMERICAN museum world, this past winter might well have been called the season of the portrait. That theme announced itself in London, at the National...
Common Cause
ELIZABETH SCHAMBELAN: As artistic director of Documenta 13 this summer, you've chosen not to organize the exhibition around a single theme or concept. Instead, the materials circulated so far articulate a constellation of figures, ideas, and concerns,...
Darren Bader
MOMA PS1 The self-penned introductory wall text for "Images," Darren Bader's first museum exhibition, opens with a trio of epigrams. While two are easily attributable (to Groucho Marx and Leonard Cohen), the third, courtesy of "Ford" (Tom, perhaps?),...
Dave Miko
STOWED AWAY IN THE SUBTERRANEAN ENVIRONS of a Chinatown mall, Dave Miko's current New York show is by no means a public affair. Since February, the artist has been hosting visitors to this closetsize exhibition one by one. And with no opening, press...
Dust to Dust
CAN A HISTORICAL EXHIBITION of Arte Povera, which necessarily reframes as sculptures works that were once performative and ephemeral, provide something new to contemporary viewers and still honor the unrepeatability of the first experiment? One answer...
Ellen Harvey
DODGEGALLERY Ellen Harvey's "The Nudist Museum Gift Shop" included installations evoking both a museum and a gift shop, as well as works situated in a bathroom and a stairwell. This is all to the point: Harvey's practice engages not just with art...
False Front
PLAYING EVERYONE FROM TADZIO, the adolescent blond object of desire in Luchino Visconti's Death in Venice (1971), to Jack Nicholson's world-weary Jake in Roman Polanski's Chinatown (1974), Ming Wong has made a career out of reenacting scenes from canonical...
Fort
EXILE Near the end of Wong Kar-wai's 1990 film, Days of Being Wild, the character buddy invokes the legend of the bird with no legs for a second time: "I used to think there was a kind of bird that, once born, would keep flying until death. The...
Fred Sandback
DAVID ZWIRNER An elegantly daunting obstacle course for oafs and claustrophobes alike, this spare, cerebral selection of works drawn from more than four decades of the late Fred Sandback's career served to burnish the artist's already substantial...
Frieze Art Fair
New York Randall's Island Park 4-7 Mag 2012 Bug Tickets Online Now friezenewgork.com. Participating Galleries 303 Gallery, Newyork Miguel Abreu, New York Airde Paris, Paris The Approach, London art: concept, Paris Alfonso Artiaco,...
Fuyuko Matsui
YOKOHAMA MUSEUM OF ART With more than one hundred paintings and drawings, Fuyuko Matsui's solo exhibition "Becoming Friends with All the Children in the World" demonstrated a unique vision that embraces death and the dissolution of identity as a...
Gianfranco Baruchello
GALLERIA MILANO You don't know where to look first in Gianfranco Baruchello's paintings. Very small drawings, meticulous and extremely precise, populate large canvases, where the whiteness of the ground dominates. As the eye traverses the void,...
Gyan Panchal
AMRITA JHAVERI There are circumstances when sticks and stones may break our bones, as the saying goes. Paris-based Gyan Panchal's show in Mumbai was not one of them. Here, such sturdy materials appeared curiously fragile. In hndus (all works 2012),...
"Happenings: New York, 1958-1963"
PACE GALLERY The organizer of this exhibition, Mildred L. Glimcher, does not define "Happenings." That is, she does not attempt to distinguish them from, say, poets' theater, Fluxus events, or other types of experimental performance of the time...
Hiroshi Senju
SUNDARAM TAGORE GALLERY The exquisite works in Hiroshi Senju's series "Cliffs," 2012--eleven mixed-media paintings, one a triptych, all on mulberry paper mounted on board--appear to illustrate Lao-tzu's idea of Tao as a sort of universal flow or...
Jan Groover
JANET BORDEN, INC This long-planned exhibition, titled "Formalism Is Everything," became a memorial to Jan Groover after she died on New Year's weekend, at the age of sixty-eight. Trained as a painter, Groover turned to photography in the early...
Javier Tellez
GALERIE PETER KILCHMANN One of the guiding images that drives his practice, Javier Tellez has said, is a memory from childhood. As a kid in Venezuela, Tellez would visit his psychiatrist father at the hospital where he worked. During carnival, when...
Jeremy Deller
HAYWARD GALLERY, LONDON THIS RETROSPECTIVE presented a formidable challenge: How to organize a show of an artist who has defined his practice precisely by working outside the white cube? The problem of institutionalization is hardly uncommon, of...
Jeroen Eisinga
STEDELIJK MUSEUM SCHIEDAM When Zhang Huan in his early work 12m2, 1994, spread fish oil and honey on his naked body to attract flies, then sat for an hour in a filthy public toilet in Beijing, this was a silent form of social protest. For his film...
Jim Shaw
WHEN I FIRST MET MIKE, in art school at the University of Michigan, the only thing that was apparent was that we were the two weirdest guys there. As I got to know him better, though, it became obvious that Mike was one of the most naturally gifted...
Jonathan Lasker
CHEIM & READ Beleaguered in the last decades of the twentieth century, painting nonetheless was granted provisional life, even by an intellectual elite determined to undermine its centuries-honored prestige. This eleventh-hour reprieve was achieved...
Josh Mannis
ANTHONY GREANEY The rather beguiling title of Josh Mannis's exhibition "Zeal for the Law" interconnects what might otherwise seem to be a rather disparate body of work. Such an emphatic allusion to authority also invites appraisal of the artist's...
Kim Gordon
IN 1979, I was headed to New York from Los Angeles, and Mike decided to drive across the country with me to visit friends. On the way, we pulled into New Orleans. It was late at night and all the hotels were booked; the city held so many promises of...
Kraftwerk: Ralf Hutter Talks about "1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8" Introduction by Michelle Kuo
WHEN KRAFTWERK SPEAKS, everything else suddenly gets a little louder: loud like your heartbeat in an anechoic chamber, or loud like a neon-lit wet suit on a robot in 3-D. The group's laconic vocals only enhance the booming, anthemic extravagance of...
Latifa Echakhch
KAUFMANN REPETTO In Italian, the word verso has several meanings: a line in poetry ("verse"), the direction of movement ("toward"), and the hack side of a sheet of paper ("verso"). As the title of Latifa Echakhch's recent exhibition, the word reflected...
"Le Sentiment Des Choses"
FRAC ILE-DE-FRANCE/LE PLATEAU A completely delightful mental exercise was offered by the curatorial team Yoann Gourmel and Elodie Royer: Take an artist unjustly relegated to obscurity by art history because unassimilable to a particular medium or...
"Light Years: Conceptual Art and the Photograph, 1964-1977"
ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO For a time, the consensus on Conceptual art was that it had to do with "dematerialization" or "idea"; after a while, though, it began to seem better to read the specificity of Conceptualism through its emphasis on language....
Lucy Skaer
MURRAY GUY The jesterlike Harlequin has been a favorite subject for artists since his creation in sixteenth-century Italy. An ungovernable character often responsible for derailing the drama's plot, the Harlequin sports a multicolored geometric...
Luigi Ghirri
CASTELLO DI RIVOLI In the 1970s, Luigi Ghirri began organizing small photographs he had shot by sorting them in boxes. At the end of the decade, this attitude toward categorizing in series would be nourished by a conceptual matrix that gave substance...
Lutz Bacher
ALEX ZACHARY PETER CURRIE This March, the Upper East Side belonged to Lutz Bacher. Standout work by the Berkeley, California-based neo-Conceptualist appeared in three exhibitions uptown: In the Whitney Biennial, throughout, in the Metropolitan Museum...
Magnificent Obsession: James Quandt on the Films of Werner Schroeter
What Schroeter does with a face, a cheekbone, the lips, an expression of the eyes f is a] multiplying and burgeoning of the body, an exaltation. -- Michel Foucault One must regain a sense of wonder. --Werner Schroeter WERNER SCHROETER'S ECSTATIC...
Mary Kelly
POSTMASTERS GALLERY Mary Kelly's first solo show in New York since 2005 was an occasion, though the work deviated not a jot from the Conceptualist-feminist trajectory established by the artist in the 1970s. Visually, the affect was cool, perfect--a...
Michael Smith
A JOKE THAT MIKE KELLEY TOLD on many an occasion: [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] So, this drunk is sitting on a bus. A brunette gets on and pays her fare, and as she's about to head to her seat the bus driver turns to her...
Mitchell Syrop
THOMAS SOLOMON GALLERY It would be all too easy to describe Mitchell Syrop's recent body of text-based works as the product of some loose stream of consciousness. But this show's sole work, Bifurcated Life, 2011--comprising twenty-eight archival...
Nuno Da Luz
VERA CORTES ART AGENCY Nuno da Luz is fascinated by the randomness of the events that take place all around us, whether natural catastrophes or simple everyday accidents--and particularly by the ways we accept or refuse them. For his first solo...
Oscar Tuazon
GALERIE EVA PRESENHUBER Oscar Tuazon's invasions of space--which he improvises on-site, working them out as he goes--have been much discussed lately. One hears talk of "structural tension" (Julian Rose in Artforum) or a "palpable miss" (Philippe...
Parsons Tale
THE CONTINUED mythic, outsider status of Forrest Bess is a testament to the sheer anxiety he sparks around hierarchies of vision and social organization--hierarchies that are central to how we legitimate works of art. It is no small feat for an artist...
Paul McCarthy
BLAH, BLAH, BLACK I undergo an asshole I enter through an asshole was full but my mother my mother was in the room the corner through the asshole who was March 1st that's Timpanogos Cave my mother was in a cave but I brought there coming down the stairs...
Per-Oskar Leu
TRIPLE CANOPY If the history of the twentieth-century could be distilled to just a few key episodes, one of them might be Bertolt Brecht's appearance before a US House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) panel in 1947. Speaking with great deliberation...
Pia Ronicke
GB AGENCY In Pia Ronicke's recent exhibition "Dream and action find equal support in it," everything was a matter of transparency--above all, that of the forms and ideas she assembled and borrowed from the Irish-born architect and designer Eileen...
"Prospect: New Zealand Art Now"
CITY GALLERY Every few years, Wellington's City Gallery stages "Prospect" in an attempt to take the pulse of contemporary New Zealand art. For the survey's fourth incarnation, curator Kate Montgomery made a small but significant change was made...
Reading the Rings
W. G. SEBALD'S UNCLASSIFIABLE BOOK The Rings of Saturn (1995) begins with its aftermath. The writer takes a series of long walks through the Suffolk countryside and along the coast and then becomes ill, almost unable to move. He recovers in a hospital...
"Requiem for the Sun: The Art of Mono-Ha"
BLUM & POE Known for their canny juxtapositions of natural and industrial materials, the artists associated with Mono-ha (literally, the School of Things) have steadily gained recognition in Japan, Korea, and Europe since the group's emergence...
Richard Grayson
MATT'S GALLERY Simply described, Richard Grayson's The Magpie Index, 2010, the sole work in this show, is a portrait of the singer-songwriter Roy Harper. Perhaps best known for his work as a sideman with luminaries such as Jimmy Page, Dave Gilmour,...
Rosa Loy
PIPPY HOULDSWORTH GALLERY About a decade ago, a German painter of my acquaintance explained the difference, as he saw it, between himself and the then newly fashionable painters from the former East Germany. "Their work is based on what they know...
Sanya Kantarovsky
MARC FOXX The paintings of Russian-born, LA-based artist Sanya Kantarovsky are almost irresistibly appealing, even adorable. Modestly scaled mergers of abstract and figurative--or, more to the point, painterly and illustrational--elements, they...
"Spaces: Antenna, the Front, Good Children Gallery"
CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER Here's an intimidating curatorial gambit: a museum exhibition venturing to manifest a palpable web of energy spun by a triad of emerging artists' collectives. The collectives are located in a working-class, historically...
Stephen Prina
FRIEDRICH PETZEL GALLERY One might reasonably wonder whether or not the review you are now reading is warranted. Though the press release accompanying Stephen Prina's seventh exhibition at Friedrich Petzel Gallery announced the presentation of "new...
Steven Claydon
FIRSTSITE British artist Steven Claydon's comprehensive solo show "Culpable Earth" invests the artist's interests in tradition and ethnography with a contemporary approach to museum display. The exhibition, his first major solo show in the UK, reads...
"The Old, the New, the Different"
KUNSTHALLE BERN, SWITZERLAND ANY NEW EXHIBITION at the Kunsthalle Bern may boast of an array of impressive ancestors: from Harald Szeemann's epochal "When Attitudes Become Form" in 1969 to the 1992 Michael Asher intervention, commissioned by Ulrich...
"The Ungovernables"
NEW MUSEUM, NEW YORK IF THE FIRST NEW MUSEUM TRIENNIAL "Younger Than Jesus" (2009), was premised on the relative youth of the artists it featured, its second incarnation, "The Ungovernables," which closed its doors last month, looked to present...
Tony Oursler
WE MET AT THE SUPER SHOP, the wood and metal shop at CalArts. He was a smallish guy with slickedback hair and skin that looked like it had plagued him since adolescence. It was his soft eyes, though, that contradicted the overall toughguy look of khaki...
Willie Doherty
ALEXANDER AND BONIN Every city is a palimpsest of its own history, each urban territory an accumulation of linguistic and visual signs that constitute the representation of place. Since the 1980s, Willie Doherty's practice has addressed the complex...
Will Kwan
2P CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERY With all the current international economic woes from Ireland to Greece, from Japan to the United States, Hong Kong holds an exceptional position. Largely autonomous since the UK handed it back to China in 1997, the city...
Zak Prekop
HARRIS LIEBERMAN The works in Zak Prekop's second show at Harris Lieberman--sixteen canvases limited to a range of white, black, cobalt, tan, and yellow--may at first register as positively anodyne, yet they instantiate surprisingly nuanced optical...